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Re: Problems in GNU FDL 1.2 Draft

On 20020213T133738-0800, Walter Landry wrote:
> In fact, it seems like the GPL is better worded
> for this sort of thing.

I would advice against anyone using the GPL for documentation.
For example, if I print and photocopy a GPL'd document and
give the copies to my students, I must also give them
machine-readable source.  This is a major nuisance.

Also, it is not at all clear what is "object code" or
"executable code" when talking about documents.

> As a specific example of where the GPL is better worded, instead of
> arbitrarily listing certain formats as Transparent and others as
> Opaque, it simply refers to "the preferred form for modification."

It seems you have not read the FDL properly.  It gives a general
definition and lists *examples*.  I think this is better, as
it clarifies the definition.

> As another example, the GFDL requires me to include a copy of the
> license in the documentation.  The GPL only requires a copy of the
> license along with the software.

If you are using the GPL to license documentation, then a reasonable
interpretation is that the documentation is "the software".  Therefore,
you are obligated to give a copy of the GPL along with your document.

> I would be quite annoyed if my
> MagicPoint presentation (which I can edit with generic text editors)
> had to have a copy of the license inside it.

Why?  You don't have to show the license to the audience.

> It also adds a number of clauses about copying in quantity,
> Endorsements, Title Page, and Cover Texts that unnecessarily confuse
> anyone who wants to apply the license to their work.

They are actually quite necessary, and there actually isn't enough of
them.  (I have a concrete example where I need a cover text that
is treated like the "endorsements" section.)

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, LuK (BSc)    * http://www.iki.fi/gaia/ * gaia@iki.fi

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